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3 Bumps

Would you pass off your girl as a boy to avoid shame to the family?

An interesting article regarding the practice in Afghanistan.
Afghan Boys Are Prized, So Girls Live the Part
By JENNY NORDBERG, the New York Times online
Published: September 20, 2010

KABUL, Afghanistan — Six-year-old Mehran Rafaat is like many girls her age. She likes to be the center of attention. She is often frustrated when things do not go her way. Like her three older sisters, she is eager to discover the world outside the family’s apartment in their middle-class neighborhood of Kabul.
But when their mother, Azita Rafaat, a member of Parliament, dresses the children for school in the morning, there is one important difference. Mehran’s sisters put on black dresses and head scarves, tied tightly over their ponytails. For Mehran, it’s green pants, a white shirt and a necktie, then a pat from her mother over her spiky, short black hair. After that, her daughter is out the door — as an Afghan boy.


Asked by tasches at 3:10 PM on Sep. 21, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

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This question is closed.
Answers (18)
  • I don't think it means they are ashamed of their daughter, I think they are doing what they feel is necessary to survive and improve their daughters chances of safety and education. We cannot begin to comprehend their decisions while leading our pampered and protected lives.

    Answer by sonshinemomma at 3:35 PM on Sep. 21, 2010

  • I cherish my children for who they are, no matter their gender, and think prizing boys above girls is disgusting.

    Answer by Ati_13 at 3:21 PM on Sep. 21, 2010

  • No, never. But at the same time we don't live in a society that's as represed as Afghanistan. It sounds to me like this mother found a way to see to it that her girls get educated and treated with respect. I wonder what will happen when they reach puberty, though. No more hiding as a boy then.

    Answer by HotMama330 at 3:14 PM on Sep. 21, 2010

  • I have no idea what I would do if I lived there.

    Answer by mompam at 3:19 PM on Sep. 21, 2010

  • No, I can't imagine that my kids would bring me shame being just as they are.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 3:23 PM on Sep. 21, 2010

  • It is disgusting but it is truly hard to judge them when we do not live in their culture.

    Answer by Melbornj at 3:29 PM on Sep. 21, 2010

  • That is terrible!!! They r ashamed of the child! What a blow to the childs self esteem!

    Answer by dancer at 3:26 PM on Sep. 21, 2010

  • It is a different world than we know & cannot possibly imagine. They do what they do to survive their terrible hardships. Imagine having to do that just to survive? They also do that so the female child will not be sold off as a child bride to an old Man as a sex slave with a harem. There was a movie about that not too long ago. It is sooo sad.

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 3:33 PM on Sep. 21, 2010

  • Being born and raised in the USA I was brought up with the belief that boys are boys, girls are girls and both sexes are equals. If I lived over there and was brought up in that cultrure/environment I might have a different outlook.

    Answer by MizLee at 3:37 PM on Sep. 21, 2010

  • I haven't walked in her shoes therefore I can not judge her.
    In my society however, I would never even consider doing this to my child.

    Answer by parrishsky at 5:09 PM on Sep. 21, 2010